The Night Stan Stasiak Became World Champ
By Frank Dusek (as
given by Stan Stasiak)
A lot of fans wonder what
its like when wrestlers find out they are going to achieve one of the ultimate
honors in this sport, to hold the World heavyweight championship.
Stan Stasiak was
one of the fortunate few that had the combination of talent and opportunity to become
World heavyweight champion.
In addition, Stan Stasiak
was a great friend and someone that I truly miss. Its kind of ironic that Stan was
best known for his heart punch-finishing move because his heart was one of the biggest in
wrestling. Despite drawing money for decades as a main event villain, he was one of the
most genuine and nicest men you would ever meet. You cant think of Stan without
thinking of his laugh, which he did all the time. He was one of the funniest men I have
I got to meet up with
Stan after he won and lost the WWF (in those days it was the WWWF title). I asked him
about his brief title reign. He told me the story of when he found out he was going to be
This was Stans
second or third tour with the WWF. Every time he went to New York it was the same thing.
Three weeks of TV matches and a tour around the house show circuit to collect a win to set
up the main event for the next card in the town. After that, it was in the main event
against Pedro Morales for the title. He wrestled Pedro dozens of times and never won. It
didnt bother Stan at all. He was main eventing in one of the Meccas of pro
wrestling, getting paid very well and had no problem doing business.
He was sitting in the
dressing room in Philadelphia and the road agent came to discuss the match. Stan
considered this a formality as he had been having the same discussion, nearly verbatim, in
every major city on the Eastern seaboard for the last two months. In fact, it was the same
conversation that Stan had over and over the last couple of times he had wrestled in the
Here is how Stan relayed
WWF official: Pedro
makes the big comeback and gives you a belly-to-back.
Stan (bored): Uh-huh
WWF official: The
referee will go down to make the count.
Stan (paying about
half attention while he tied his boots): Right
WWF official: The
referee will count "one, two
(matter-of-factly): Of course
WWF official: At
two, you roll your right shoulder
Stan now looks up to pay
attention realizing this must be a false finish leading to another spot after which
Morales would hit the top rope splash for the win.
(matter-of-factly): Pedros shoulders will still be down and the referee will hit
Stan completely stopped
what he was doing as he took a long look at the official.
After a long pause that
seemed like several minutes, the official offered nothing else so Stan spoke.
confused): You mean I win?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Stan: Is this a
Stan was really confused
now as the official just stared at him blankly.
Stan (in disbelief): You
mean I win the title?
WWF official (somewhat
Just like that, out of
nowhere, Stan Stasiak was about to become the World Heavyweight Champion. And unlike
today, they didnt tell him until they went over the match in the dressing room.
Turns out the decision
was made to pass the torch from Pedro Morales back to Bruno Sammartino. They wanted to put
the title back on Bruno at the next Madison Square Garden card but didnt want Bruno
to beat Pedro.
For eight days, Stan
Stasiak got to live out a dream most wrestlers never realize.
Frank Dusek is a
second-generation wrestler from one of the most famous wrestling families ever. He had a
solid career as a wrestler and later managed several wrestlers to major titles. He also
spent time as a broadcaster, promoter and matchmaker. His first memories of the wrestling
business are selling programs for his father when he was 4 years old.
Back to Top of Page
| Return to Stories Home
| Return to Museum Home